Grants To Boost Maine Potatoes, Blueberries, Flowers

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine Potato Board, a company that wants to expand wild blueberry wine, and a flower collective are among the groups that will receive about a half million dollar in agricultural grants.

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is awarding the grants, which are intended to grow markets for the state's specialty crops. Agency commissioner Amanda Beal said the money will help recipients "test technologies that enhance the resilience and sustainability of our production systems.”

The potato board is getting more than $79,000 to find ways to improve pest management practices for a kind of potato virus.

Blue Barn LLC will get more than $62,000 to boost blueberry wine.

The Maine Flower Collective is set to get more than $90,000 to grow market competitiveness of Maine-cut flowers.

Other recipients include Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and the University of Maine System.